The Secret Umami Powerhouse You Probably Already Have in Your Kitchen

All you need is one ingredient and a spice grinder.

Published June 15, 2021.

Dried shiitake mushrooms are glutamate-rich umami powerhouses. We often rehydrate them to use in recipes—but you can also grind them to a powder that gives a quick boost of earthy, meaty flavor to all kinds of dishes.

How to Make:

Grind dried mushrooms to fine powder in spice grinder or food processor. Store in air-tight container (a clean spice jar works well) and out of direct sunlight.

How to Use:

Add to dishes before or during cooking so that the powder can hydrate, not as a final seasoning at the table like salt; otherwise, it will taste dry and dusty. The amounts listed in the chart below are a good starting point, but you can add more or less to suit your taste.


Meaty stews and chilis

1-2 tbs

Ground beef or burgers

1 tbs per lb

Fresh pasta or gnocchi dough

2 tbs per cup of flour

Mushroom risotto

2 tsp

Flour dredge for breaded cutlets

2 tsp

Pan sauces

1 tsp

Spice rubs

To taste

Steaks, chops, scallops, or meaty fish before sautéing or grilling

A sprinkle


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